Purpose: Electric scooters (e-scooters) have become an increasingly popular mode of public transportation in recent years. As the incidence of related injuries rises, it is important to understand specific fracture patterns unique to e-scooters and electric bikes (e-bikes) to help guide management. The purpose of this study was to review the prevalence and describe specific fracture patterns of e-scooter and e-bike related injuries at the busiest level 1 trauma center in the borough of Manhattan.
Methods: Chart review to determine mechanism of injury was performed on all patients for whom an orthopedic consult was requested from 1/1/2021 to 12/31/2021. All patients whose injuries were sustained due to an e-scooter or e-bike were further reviewed for demographics, injury characteristics including fracture pattern, and definitive injury management. Any patients who had an orthopedic consult placed for a reason other than an acute injury were excluded. Descriptive statistics are reported as frequencies (percentages) for categorical variables and means for continuous variables.
Results: Of the 1815 orthopedic consults requested, 1357 (74.8%) were for acute injury management. Of those with acute injuries, 119 (8.8%) sustained 136 e-scooter or e-bike related injuries. There were 92 (77.3%) males at an average age of (33.8 ± 15.7) years. Approximately one-fifth of all patients presented in June 2021 (26, 21.8%). There was a 9.2% rate of open fractures. The 136 injuries were evenly split between the upper and lower extremities, with 57 (47.9%) upper extremity, 57 (47.9%) lower extremity injuries, and 5 (4.2%) concomitant upper and lower extremity injuries. The most common fracture patterns were ankle fractures (16, 11.7%), followed by tibial shaft (14, 10.2%), tibial plateau (13, 9.5%), and radial head fractures (11, 8.0%). There was a 33.3% incidence of associated posterior malleolar fractures in the spiral tibial shaft fractures, 31.0% of posterior malleolar involvement and 18.8% of isolated vertical medial malleolar fractures in the ankle fractures, and 61.5% of posterior comminution in the tibial plateau fractures.
Conclusion: E-scooter and e-bike related injuries have a high incidence of tibial shaft fractures, ankle fractures, tibial plateau fractures, and radial head fractures. There should be a high index of suspicion for posterior and medial involvement in lower extremity fractures sustained due to e-scooter or e-bikes. Identifying specific fracture patterns seen in e-scooter and e-bike related mechanisms will help guide management of these injuries.
Keywords: Ankle fractures; Electric bike; Electric scooter; Tibial plateau fractures; Tibial shaft.
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